Enterovirus Knowledge and Handwashing Practices among Nurses in a Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan

Amy C. Chang1, Kathryn H. Jacobsen1, Karen W. Lin2, Lee-Jene Teng3

2011 Vol.27 NO.6

Correspondence Author: Karen W. Linang


Enterovirus outbreaks have occurred in many parts of Asia in recent years, which underscores the need for medical personnel to be knowledgeable about enterovirus infections and prevention methods. A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted to examine knowledge of enterovirus, handwashing practices, and sources of information about enterovirus among nurses at a major university hospital in Taipei, Taiwan.
A total of 293 nurses from 18 randomly-selected nursing stations located in a variety of departments throughout the hospital participated in the survey on August 2009. The questionnaire was designed to measure the nurses’ knowledge of enterovirus agents, symptoms, treatment, and epidemiology and to assess handwashing frequency and methods. Participants correctly identified many symptoms of enterovirus, but many also incorrectly identified a number of characteristics not associated with enterovirus as being linked to the infection. More than three-quarters incorrectly said that antibiotics were appropriate for treating enterovirus infections. High levels of compliance with good hand hygiene techniques at work were reported.
Nurses had a much higher level of knowledge than the general population, but the survey identified gaps in knowledge that should be addressed.